The Early Learning Framework “establishes a vision for respectfully living and learning together. It supports the rich early learning experiences of children, provides a focal point for dialogue among British Columbians, and creates a common language and greater understanding of the vital importance of early learning for all young children”.
What is Early Learning at West Vancouver Schools?
Early Learning represents West Vancouver School’s commitment to each and every young student in our community – to be exposed to nurturing, stimulating and exciting learning environments in our schools. This means we work with our families and our community preschool providers to ensure that our youngest learners are welcomed into our schools before they begin Kindergarten.
Early Learning encompasses social, emotional, physical and academic programming for 0-8 year old children in West Vancouver Schools. Following the BC Ministry of Education curriculum and the BC Early Learning Framework, plus current research by experts in the Early Childhood Education field, our primary classrooms focus on play based, emotionally supportive, academically stimulating, language enriched dynamic programming.
The Value of Play
Playmaking brings children a greater awareness and understanding of the world in which they live. Sutton-Smith (1971) describes play as an inquiry process that consists of four ways of knowing:
When children play, they construct an understanding of what the world means for them in their own cultural milieu, using these four ways, together or individually, to create their knowledge base.
(Exert: Ready to Learn: Using Play to Build Literacy Skills in Young Learners, Anne Burke, 2010)
“The early years of human development establish the basic architecture and function of the brain. Each subsequent stage of human development depends on the preceding stage and builds the foundation for the years to come.”
~ Dr. Fraser Mustard
In the spring of each school year, all WVS elementary schools host the nationally acclaimed ‘Welcome to Kindergarten’ (WTK) program for registered four/five year old children and their parents. This program focuses on welcoming our new Kindergarten students to our public elementary schools as they work with their parents and new teachers in a fun filled, interactive family orientation session.
The mission statement of the Welcome to Kindergarten program is as follows;
“To provide pre-school children and their families with the resources and experiences to begin formal education with a foundation in early learning that is nurtured within the home.”
At this orientation workshop, Kindergarten teachers, Resource teachers and other school staff provide parents and their newly registered Kindergarten children with early literacy resources through hands-on learning activities and demonstrate for parents’ strategies and activities to use the resources at home. Each child leaves with a better understanding of their upcoming Kindergarten experience plus a delightful Welcome to Kindergarten resource bag filled with activities to continue their learning at home with their families.
For more information on WVS Welcome to Kindergarten program, please directly contact your child’s school. Click here for school contact information.
Ready, Set, Learn
At West Vancouver Schools, we value the important role that families have in teaching their young children. To assist families in our community as they move towards the school years, our early learning team works with community partners in West Vancouver to offer the BC Ministry of Education Ready, Set, Learn program.
West Vancouver Schools is proud to offer StrongStart BC early learning programs for parents/caregivers and their children, from birth to five years-old, at no cost to families.
Both children and adults benefit from the StrongStart program, as children have access to high-quality learning environments and social interaction on school sites, while parents and caregivers learn how to support their child’s learning.
For more information about this BC Ministry of Education-funded program, please visit www.bced.gov.bc.ca.
1329 Duchess Avenue, West Vancouver
- Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday Morning – 9:15 – 11:30.
- This will include 11:00 – 11:30 outside time in the school’s garden area rain or shine
- Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday Afternoon – 12:15 – 2:30
- This will include 2:00 – 2:30 outside time in the school’s playground area rain or shine
- Please note this schedule is subject to change.
Please contact Early Childhood Educator, Deanna DeVita at firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm schedule, register and reserve an appointment to attend.
Eagle Harbour StrongStart:
5575 Marine Drive, West Vancouver
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday: 9:00am – 11:30am
*Please note this schedule is subject to change. This program is drop in.
Please contact Early Childhood Educator, Margot Wright at email@example.com to confirm schedule and register.
IPALS (Parents as Literacy Supporters)
IPALS is a literacy program for newcomer families with children from 3-5 years old.
Parents and caregivers learn strategies to encourage their young children to develop language and literacy skills to help them connect to their community and school learning systems.
Free, Fun Learning
Due to funding requirements priority registration is given to those with a Permanent Resident card. For more information or to register, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
West Vancouver Child and Family Hub
WVS is a proud partner of the West Vancouver Child and Family Hub located at the Community Centre Civic Site.
The West Vancouver Child and Family Hub is ‘collaborative, community based, co-located programs and services that promote the healthy development and well being of families and young children in West Vancouver’. The Hub offers a range of services including;
- Child Care
- Early Learning
- Health & Wellness Services
- Family Support Programs
WVS works closely with our community partners – Vancouver Coastal Health, Non-profit service providers, West Vancouver Memorial Library, the District and City of West Vancouver and community members to ensure that services to children 0-5 years are coordinated. The West Vancouver Family Place Society is an integral part of our Hub, working together to ensure that services to families with children 0-5 are met through this family resource centre. For more information on services provided by the West Vancouver Child and Family Hub, please contact Leah Howard, Child Care Hub Coordinator at email@example.com or visit www.westvancouver.ca.
Properties Family Hub Society (PFHS)
WVS has worked together with community partners to bring a range of multi-generational programming to residents in the British Properties area.
Properties Family hub Society (PFHS) is located at Chartwell Elementary school and offers a range of recreational, language and community programming for all age groups, along with an onsite pre-school. Independent non-profit service providers operate through the centre from across the North Shore in cooperation with the West Vancouver School District. The goal of the PFHS is to contribute to positive human and economic development by offering multi-generational, flexible community health and education programs for families, seniors, singles and children residing in and near the British Properties. The Hub programs are intended to create meaningful connections among local residents to foster.
For more information, including flyers in English, Persian and Mandarin, please visit the Properties Family Hub page. Contacts:
Deanna DeVita, Properties Family Hub Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
Sandra-Lynn Shortall, Director of Instruction, West Vancouver Schools: email@example.com
What is ‘Kindergarten Gradual Entry’?
Kindergarten Gradual Entry is a developmental model of transition planning emphasizing the interconnected relationships among the child, teachers, family, peers and community that are developed across time (Pianta & Kraft-Sayre, 2003). All West Vancouver Schools embraced this approach to Kindergarten entry, effective September 2013.
Full Day Kindergarten
West Vancouver Schools is pleased to offer Full Day Kindergarten in all of our primary and elementary schools.
In our Kindergarten classrooms, a dynamic, playful curriculum stimulates our youngest learners as they grow and learn. Teachers build a child-centred program that is ‘creative in form and innovative in ideas, producing children who show resilience in the face of change and can share divergent thinking about the everyday nuances that define their young lives’ (Burke, 2011).
Full Day Kindergarten offers our youngest learners an enriched learning experience designed to cater to unique developmental levels.
We look forward to working with each Kindergarten child’s family to ensure the Full Day Kindergarten experience is a positive, happy time for all students.
For more information, please feel free to contact your child’s school or our District Vice Principal of Early Learning & Child Care.
Kindergarten Early Learning Assessment – Best Practices in WVS
WVS is committed to ensuring our youngest learners have ample opportunities for growth and development beginning at the Kindergarten level. Academically, socially and emotionally our teachers work to ensure each child’s unique learning needs are met through a variety of individualized child-centered instructional practices.
The following assessment practices allow us to ensure that each Kindergarten child receives the best possible instructional program in our public schools;
- Two (2) informal (parent-teacher interview and student-led conference) and three (3) formal reporting periods (term 1, 2, and 3 report cards) focusing on your child’s individual academic and social-emotional growth and development.
- WVS Kindergarten-Grade 1 Literacy Screener (completed in January and May of the Kindergarten year, and October of grade one).
- WVS Kindergarten Language Development Screener (completed in the winter/spring term of the Kindergarten year).
- EDI – Early Development Instrument: www.earlylearning.ubc.ca/edi/
- On-going observation and use of the BC Ministry of Education performance standards for all curricular areas. Visit http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/irp/gc.php for specific information on the Ministry of Education curriculum packages followed by all public schools in our province.
A variety of tools and strategies are used in our Kindergarten classrooms to help teachers, parents, and school administrators support children’s learning in five areas of early literacy: oral language, social responsibility, reading and viewing, writing and representing, and numeracy are used to ensure each child’s potential is recognized.
For specific information on these unique instructional and assessment practices in WVS, please contact your child’s Kindergarten teacher or school principal. Click here for school contact information.
Welcome to Kindergarten – Summer Ideas for Growth:
See a list of activities to help growth over the summer here.